W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
January 6, 2016
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

January 7
6-9 Maker Morning
7:45-8:30 a.m., Room 30

6-9 Information Night for Rising First-Graders 
5-6 p.m., Great Room 

January 14
Primary Enrichment Event - STEAM 
(for prospective students ages 2-5)
10:15-11:15 a.m., Primary Maker Studio

January 15
Application deadline for first-round financial aid decisions (2016-17)
Learn More

All-Staff Professional Day
Pre-registered child-care only. 
January 18
Martin Luther King Day
Pre-registered child-care only. 

January 20
Admissions Open Houses
9:30 a.m. & 5 p.m.
Tell a friend!

Happy New Year
Message from 
Lisa Lalama, Head of School
Visit our Montessori Message blog for more from Lisa.

Schools celebrate two new years, the beginning of the school year in September and the new calendar year in January. As most people in the world consider resolutions or reflect on the past year and its joys and challenges, schools look to the new calendar year as a time to return to the now familiar routine. The classroom environment is prepared, everyone knows the routine, and it is time to return to the familiar work of learning.

I was reading a blog over break in which two quotes from Maria Montessori were cited:  

"...always starting from the children, with the ability to welcome them as they are, freed from the thousand different labels with which we now presume to identify them."

"...to shift the action of the school from teaching to learning, not only with words but with tangible deeds, fostering children's constructive and collaborative behavior and the teacher's presence as a helper who is always available but never looming or intrusive; that which the children are able to do together today, they will be able to do on their own tomorrow."

WMS belongs to the children. It is they who are at the center of all we do. We work to provide a safe constructive environment where students can relax, be themselves, ask questions, try new things and practice the familiar. This is their work. In all they do, whether it looks like work to us or not, they are learning about the world and how to interact with it. They are moving at their individual pace, assured that there is a guide to help them along the way, providing what they need to further their knowledge and skills.

As 2016 unfolds we look forward to accompanying your children on their journeys of discovery and learning. It is in joining them each day that we continue to learn and grow. Thank you for being a part of WMS; Happy New Year!


Co-op Cornercoop
You may have noticed that Lori Oberly is back! She has taken up residence in the office next to the Co-op Bulletin Board, which was previously Rose Feehan's office. Lori is going to be working on several big efforts including assisting with Co-op projects and events. Any questions you might have about Co-op can be directed to Lori at lori_oberly@wmsde.org. Feel free to reach out to her if you have concerns about your Co-op contract or volunteer hours.
And, if you are looking for Rose - and who isn't? - you might find her working in the library, her new home base.

Delaware Marathon

The Delaware Marathon is scheduled for May 8. We are seeking relay participants to run a distance of 3.28 miles (registration will open soon) and co-op volunteers to assist with planning, our water station and more! Please email meerkatmilers@wmsde.org to join our email list and learn more in the coming weeks! 
News & NotesNews
FAST logo
Financial Aid Application Deadline Quickly Approaching

Our 2016-17 Financial Aid application is now open.

All application materials, including 2014 tax returns, must be received and processed through the FAST system by Friday, January 15, to be eligible for our first round of decisions.  

Because funds are limited and demand is high, late filing of materials may result in non-renewal of a financial aid grant.

For more information, please contact 
Nancy Oddo, Business Manager.

Register for Winter/Spring
After-School Specials

Now that the holiday hustle and bustle are over, what's next for the kids? 

Try one of our new Winter-Spring After-school Specials. Laurie Muhlbauer will teach an art class for 4- to 6-year-olds, Heather will lead a new a capella group, Delaware Music School brings us their Rhythm Kids, and first- and second-graders can play basketball with Jill. 

Today's LearnersLearner
Poetry Slam
by Lead 9-12 Teachers Joanna Breger & Shelley Robyn

On December 17, Elementary students celebrated writing with a poetry slam. We had the opportunity to hear each student read a poem from his or her collection. They created the ambiance of a "hip and happening" café complete with low lighting, refreshments and finger snapping appreciation of the poets' hard work. 

As each child read his/her poem, they conveyed not only the words on the page, but the feelings behind them. Through this study, they learned that feelings matter. Poems are not simply words that rhyme; they are finely crafted pieces of writing that share a moment in time, a memory or perhaps the senses we sometimes fail to notice. At the end of the event, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions. The responses were enlightening and informative.
Writing is a process. In the 9-12 Program we focus on the process of writing, which is incredibly difficult and demands a wide variety of skills. In the question and answer session, children shared not only that process but also the lessons that have been given throughout this unit of study. They were able to articulate the curriculum demonstrating their understanding and the transfer of that understanding into the action of writing, revising, editing and reading their poems. The feedback given and received from their peers offered an opportunity to consider the writer's point of view and the message he or she was trying to convey. They got better at this process as they practiced it. This was truly an example of learning made visible.
When asked how many would write poems again, most raised their hands. We began this unit of study as we do all studies - by reading the genre we would be writing (in this case, poems written by famous and not-so-famous authors). We end this study enjoying the pride your children have in their poetry and their enthusiasm as a community of writers.
Tomorrow's Leadersleaders
Alumni Spotlight: Sam Craig, Class of 2006

From fighting fires to hiking through the Swiss Alps to teaching children about nature and social studies, Sam Craig's interests and talents are diverse, to say the least. Sam, who graduated from WMS in 2006, says his Montessori experience gave him the room to follow his diverse interests and provided him with a sense of confidence that he has carried with him into all of his endeavors since then.

Looking back at his time at WMS, Sam's favorite memories include enjoying WMS's beautiful campus at recess and a  trip to Dover Air Force Base as a student in the 6-9 Program. On the trip, Sam's class participated in some scientific experiences on the tarmac, as well as inside what he remembers to be a C-130 plane. Students from other classes gathered in the parking lot with posters and banners to support the 6-9 students as they prepared for the trip.

"I remember how exciting it was to be part of this group of students, going on what felt like a crazy adventure," Sam recalls.

Sam's adventures did not stop when he left WMS. After graduating, Sam attended Wilmington Christian School and joined the school's basketball team, a sport he had learned to enjoy at WMS. The summer after eighth grade, he began to volunteer as a camp counselor at Ashland Nature Center, where he continued to volunteer until the summer before his senior year of high school. During college, he returned as a paid intern.

"When working with all of the kids at Ashland Nature Center, there was usually a great deal of patience and understanding required - two traits many of my friends did not share, which led to some pretty grumpy days for them," Sam says. "While I certainly experienced some stressful and frustrating moments I don't remember ever feeling like it was too much to deal with, and 9 out of 10 times I loved the work. The environment at Wilmington Montessori School helped me to expand and express that part of me."

Sam attended Salesianum High School, where he got involved with the military/ROTC club and the indoor track team. As many WMS alumni do, Sam also decided to commit time to volunteering in his community. He joined his local volunteer fire company and spent as much time as he could there until he left for college. He still drops by and helps out when he can.

This patience and understanding that helped Sam form positive relationships with the children he worked with as a volunteer at Ashland Nature Center also led him to pursue a degree in Social Studies Education at Drexel University. As part of Drexel's co-op program, he has spent time working and teaching at Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences, an experience that he has found educational and enjoyable. 

"WMS has influenced where I am today by simply giving me room to explore my interests and strengthen my individual character," Sam says. "In particular, after working with kids between the ages of 4 and 16 for the past five years, the ability to be patient has been invaluable."
The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length  and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Communications.

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